CME Not Ready To Introduce Bitcoin Futures; CBOE Plans To, Pending CTFC Review

CME Group Inc. president Bryan Durkin has revealed that even if the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) does eventually introduce bitcoin futures, it’s won’t do so in the “very near future,” explaining that, according to his assessment, “bitcoin is very nascent right now.”

Market watchers have speculated that the exchange would create some sort of bitcoin derivative since it debuted a bitcoin price index in 2016. 

However, without naming blockchain technology specifically, Durkin went on to indicate that the CME is nonetheless interested in ways that “technologies associated with [digitization] … might further complement [CME’s] client needs,” leaving open the possibility of integrating certain services with a blockchain environment.

Like the CME Group, which is a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) has also expressed interest in bitcoin, inking an exclusive global licensing agreement with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini Trust Company LLC in August to use the firm’s “bitcoin market data for bitcoin derivatives and indices.”

In a statement to ETHNews, CBOE director of corporate communications Suzanne Cosgrove said the exchange plans to “offer trading in cash-settled bitcoin futures, pending review by the [Commodity Futures Trading Commission]” and hopes to launch the futures “as early as fourth-quarter 2017 or early 2018, again, subject to regulatory review.”